India should help Pakistan cricket: Kamran

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal said India can help save the game in his country by agreeing to play there.

Updated: March 15, 2009 06:50 IST
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New Delhi:

Concerned about the future of cricket in Pakistan after the Lahore terror attack on the Sri Lankan team, wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal said India can help save the game in his country by agreeing to play there.

"Pakistan cricket is in its worst phase. Not a single foreign team is willing to play here. It has certainly affected our players' motivation apart from the financial losses," he told 'PTI Bhasha' in an interview from Karachi where he is playing a domestic one-day tournament.

Admitting that Pakistan is on the verge of being isolated in international cricket, Akmal urged India to lend a helping hand.

"Indian cricketers like (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni, Yuvraj (Singh), Irfan Pathan enjoy huge fan following in Pakistan. It will be a great help if India reconsiders it's decision not to tour Pakistan. It will certainly help bring Pakistan cricket back on track," said the cricketer, who has played 40 Tests and 94 ODIs so far.

"It is a great loss not only for our cricketers but cricket lovers as well. They could not see their favourite players playing here. It is regretful."

Akmal said reluctance of top teams like India, Australia and South Africa's to visit Pakistan has affected the morale of the players and the situation has worsened after the Lahore attack.

"If India, Australia and South Africa continue to avoid Pakistan than cricket will not survive here. Domestic tournaments do not get spectators. Stadiums are empty during the ongoing domestic one-day tournament. Players do not have any motivation," he said.

Akmal said playing at neutral venues was not the solution to Pakistan cricket's woes.

"PCB will get money from TV rights and title sponsorship but that is not enough. Financial losses will affect domestic structure in Pakistan cricket and we won't get good cricketers. So it will have long term impacts," said the 27-year-old player.

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